February 2019 Archives

« January 2019

Don Newcombe, Dead at 92

Don NewcombeDon Newcombe was 92. He was the first pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year, Most Valuable Player, and Cy Young Awards during his career, the first black pitcher to start a World Series game, and the first black pitcher to win twenty games in one season.

don

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Mimico Mountaineers vs. St. Michael's College Kerry Blues

In my hood, many kids grow up playing lacrosse. It's not uncommon to spot automobiles sporting a Mimico Mountaineers bumper sticker.

Forever I've seen the St. Michael's College Kerry Blues logo. I just assume these cars belong to the proud parent of a St. Mike's student athlete.

Only recently did I realize how similar these two logos are, and that I often don't really know which one I'm seeing. Here's a quick comparison.

Mimico Mountaineers Logo

mimico

St. Michael's College Logo

st-mikes

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Corporate Podcasts: Have Studio – Will Travel.

It's been a few months since I last wrote about corporate podcasting, and now that TMDS is set to celebrate its six month birthday, I thought I'd share more of what I've learned.

You see, I've been in the field, building my studio in boardrooms across this city, producing professional podcasts for companies. Actually doing it is the greatest education. There are satisfied corporate clients willing to be references and extol the virtues of podcasts as a corporate communications tool.

There are essentially three target audiences: employees, clients, and prospects.

The Employee Podcast
For larger companies, internal communication is a challenge. This is particularly true when employees are located in different offices, often in different provinces, countries, or even continents. Then there's remote employees, independent representatives, and the road warriors.

Historically, companies have relied on an Intranet, email newsletter or sporadic meetings / calls / webinars. That's if they have a strategy at all. Imagine a regular podcast for employees sharing the latest updates, best practices, company news and other pertinent data. It's essentially a company radio station, only on-demand. I have clients successfully leveraging podcasts as a modern internal communications channel.

The Client Podcast
If you think it's a challenge communicating with internal employees, imagine messaging to clients. I have a finance company recording regular podcasts for clients-only who consider it a game-changer. They share this audio as a value-add for clients and have received rave reviews. If you're responsible for communicating with customers, we should talk!

The Prospect Podcast
Unlike the employee and client podcasts, this podcast would be available to the general public, and would be found on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher et al. The formula is simple:

  1. Identify your target audience - the personas who buy your products and/or services
  2. Create content that appeals to this audience - typically it's educational, full of best practices and relevant news
  3. This regular podcast isn't about your product or services - it's brought to you by your organization

The result is that you will be top of mind when they require your products and/or services. You're essentially promoting yourself as a thought leader, and when you link a prospect to your podcast, it's tremendous validation. Sometimes, it doesn't even matter how many subscribers you have, it only needs to exist and be available 24/7 on-demand. Often it's the ace up a salesperson's sleeve.

It's Sunday morning, and I could go on an on about the benefits of corporate podcasts. Before I log off, let me just remind decision makers how incredibly low risk this is, and how easy I am to work with. I'll handle the A-Z, you merely need to worry about the content.

I'd love to chat one-on-one if you think this could benefit your organization or business. Reach out!

20190131_103634

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 433: Kick Out the Kick Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 433In this 433rd episode, Mike chats with KOTJ spreadsheet owner Tyler Campbell about Kick Out the Jams episodes of Toronto Mike'd. This episode is exactly 1:47:28.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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I Choo-Choo-Choose You

HeartHappy Valentine's Day. I choo-choo-choose you.

I Choo-Choo-Choose You

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Toronto Mike'd Bingo

bingo

[Created by Al, lead singer of The Royal Pains]

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 432: Mark Breslin

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 432In this 432nd episode, Mike chats with Yuk-Yuk's co-founder Mark Breslin about being an older first-time father, the humble beginnings of Yuk-Yuk's and the many famous comics he has booked. This episode is exactly 1:20:31.

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Mark Breslin and me

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Mike Cleaver, Dead at 72

Mike CleaverMike Cleaver was 72. He was the radio broadcaster best known around these parts for a couple of stints at CHUM, first as an afternoon anchor and morning co-anchor and then as an afternoon and morning news anchor. He was also on-air at CFRB and 680 News.

Mike Cleaver

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Save JAZZ.FM vs. JAZZ.FM91: An Open Letter From Heather Bambrick

I've written about the situation at JAZZ.FM91 many times, and have discussed it at length on Toronto Mike'd with such guests as Heather Bambrick, Mark Wigmore, Dani Elwell, Jaymz Bee, Bill King and Molly Johnson. JAZZ.FM91 has recently ratcheted up the rhetoric with regards to SAVE JAZZ FM's efforts to bring governance and operational changes to JAZZ.FM91.

Below is a guest blog entry written by jazz musician and broadcaster Heather Bambrick in which she seeks to bring clarity to this conflict.

Over the past 24 hours, I have received several messages from people - most of whom I don't know, but who know me from the station - asking for clarification regarding the battle for support in the current Jazz FM situation.  With all of the correspondence being sent out by both sides, people want to know who the “good guys” are.

So, let me be clear, as a former employee, a musician, and a donor, I support SAVE JAZZ FM and their efforts to effect positive change.  Here are a few things to consider:

  • This is NOT a hostile takeover. Donor members are, in effect, “shareholders” who are entitled to have a say in the body that governs the station.  The current Board isn’t allowing them to do so.
  • SAVE JAZZ FM is NOT a corporate conglomerate or a group being funded by “deep pockets”.  They are a group of listeners and supporters who are simply concerned about the wellbeing of the station and want to affect positive change.
  • The current Board has quietly appointed three new Directors just two weeks before the deadline to hold its annual general meeting.  Members could have been asked to put forth nominees or at least vote on these new Board Directors before they took their seats at the table.  However, the current Board chose to do this without any consultation or communication with donor members.
  • Jazz FM achieved just over 50% of their last fundraising campaign goal, despite a two-day extension of the campaign.  That clearly points to a body of donors reluctant to support this station.
  • Many other arts organizations – including the TSO, Shaw Festival, Stratford Festival, National Ballet of Canada, and Massey Hall - post their financials via their website, in an act of accountability to its supporters.  Jazz FM refuses to this and one has to wonder why. The fiscal year end was almost 6 months ago and there is still no sign of their financial statements.
  • In June of 2018, seven employees / contractors were fired due to financial concerns, according to the station.  Yet, in less than a year, nine new hosts have been hired. In light of the failure of the last campaign, one has to wonder how the previously cited financial concerns were alleviated allowing for the hiring of nine new hosts.
  • Several new programs have been announced, but that doesn’t address the termination of beloved hosts such as Walter Venafro, Jaymz Bee, Mark Wigmore, and others.  Similarly, the hiring of two new production staff doesn’t explain the termination of former morning show producer Billy Heaton.
  • In March of 2018, I joined twelve of my former colleagues in presenting a letter to the Board of Directors of Jazz FM outlining our concerns over a toxic work environment that included bullying and sexual harassment.  As of this writing, people about whom the allegations were made remain employed by the station, whereas each and every member of the group that brought forth the concerns was either terminated or resigned, unable to effectively function in the station’s continuing toxic work environment.
  • The toxic environment at Jazz FM continues to this day, as is evidenced not only in the mass firing of seven individuals as mentioned above, but also in the further resignations of five key employees / contractors over the past nine months, two of whom are currently involved in lawsuits against Jazz FM for various alleged violations on the part of the station.  Further anecdotal evidence by current employees paints a picture of a continued culture of fear and intimidation by senior management.
  • Toronto’s music community is becoming fragmented with many musicians refusing to offer their talent in support of Jazz FM in its current state, and others worrying that working for Jazz FM will affect their reputations amongst their colleagues.

This is not about creating new programming, Jazz safaris, or concert series.  This is about a Board and management that refuses to demonstrate transparency, accountability, or even accept responsibility for the ongoing serious problems at the station they are supposed to govern.  When those entrusted with the oversight and leadership of an organization refuse to lead, take action, take responsibility, or be forthcoming with their “stakeholders”, chronic negative elements remain and the organization is destined for failure.

I strongly encourage you to complete the BLUE PROXY sent to you by SAVE JAZZ FM and return it to them by mail or e-mail (savejazzfm@gmail.com).  And if you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly at heather@heatherbambrick.ca.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

heather

Heather Bambrick

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Boosting the Chances of Passing Your G1 Test

As a new driver in Ontario, one of the things you must do in order to legally get on the road is pass your Ontario G1 test. Naturally, many drivers are nervous about taking this test in case they do not get the required score. However, there are ways in which you can better prepare yourself in order to boost the chances of passing.

One of the things you can do is to take a practice G1 test, as this can benefit you in many ways. You can take an extensive G1 quiz online, and although there is no guarantee you will actually pass the test itself when the time comes, the practice test is a great way to prepare yourself. You can simply go online to access a G1 test guide and take a practice quiz.

What Are the Benefits of a Practice Test?

There are many benefits you can look forward to when you take a practice G1 test online. One of the key benefits of taking the practice test is that it will allow you to build your confidence levels up in preparation for the real deal. Many new drivers are very nervous about taking the G1 test because they are not all that confident about passing. However, the ability to get some practice in and learn what the questions in the test are like will make it easier to feel prepared and confident about taking the actual test when the time comes.

It is important to be prepared when it comes to taking a test such as this, but many people go in feeling completely unprepared. This can then increase the risk of panicking and failing the test, which is naturally something you want to avoid. When you take the time to do a practice test, by the time the real test comes around you will find you feel much more prepared, and this then increases the chances of you passing. Of course, there are no guarantees that you will pass the G1 test after doing a practice run but it can certainly help.

The great thing about doing a practice test run is that you can do it online from the comfort and privacy of your own home. This means you can benefit from total ease and convenience when it comes to your G1, and you won’t have to go out of your way in order to get some practice in and build your confidence levels. You can even benefit from joining a social media support groups so that you can benefit from increased support.

Boost Your Chances of Success

With the many benefits you can enjoy by taking the practice G1 test run, you will find it much easier to pass your real test with total confidence. Taking this step can remove a lot of the stress that can come with taking the G1, which makes it an invaluable tool for those who are feeling nervous about their tests

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Matt Gurney No Longer on Global News Radio 640 Toronto

Matt Gurney, host of The Exchange with Matt Gurney from 9am to noon on Global News Radio 640 Toronto, is no longer with the station. He's been "restructured" out. Here's what Matt tweeted earlier today.

Anyway, SOME PERSONAL NEWS. (Which may eventually include some analysis of Starfleet operations, let's just see how this goes.)

As of yesterday, I was told that, due to a restructuring, Global News, though very grateful for all my contributions, no longer required them.

I was asked to not say anything until now, as other people were also being let go, and I was asked, simply as a gentleman, to allow that process to unfold. I was happy to grant that request. I don't know about any further impacts — turns out I'm off the email distribution list!

To any of my colleagues at Global News and specifically 640 Toronto who were also let go, I wish you every success and you all know where to find me if I can be helpful in any way. For those who remain, and new people who may now join, best of luck — truly.

It has been my genuine pleasure these few years to contribute to what has been a very successful period for the radio station, including many changes. The good work of the last two years will continue, and I'm sure I'll be listening.

Though I had less of an opportunity to work with my colleagues at the rest of Global News, I have huge admiration for the work those journalists do every day and have enjoyed my time with them. A great group of people, a great group of journalists. Good luck, Global News.

As news of this has been slowly getting out over the last day or so, I've had a lot of kind notes and texts/calls from old friends and colleagues, all asking if I'm OK. For anyone who's worried, don't be. I am fine.

That's not false bravado. Sincerely — I'm fine. Getting let go from a radio job isn't exactly unforeseeable, so I made sure I was prepared, emotionally and otherwise, for this day. It came sooner than I might have once hoped. But I knew with certainty it would.

I've also kept a few irons in a few fires, and I'll have more to say about those soon, after some, uhhh, "technicalities" are dealt with. But truly, don't worry about me.

In fact, in some ways, this has helped with my professional imposter syndrome. I've finally been shitcanned from a media job! I'm for real now! Whoo hoo!

I admit that I am bored this morning, though. First time I've been "at liberty" in 12 years.

One last note.

The above thread has been all about me — and, I mean, duh. I'm the guy who got blown out an airlock. Of course it's about me.

But I want to carve out a bit of time here for someone else. Some words for, and about, @supriyadwivedi.

Supriya Dwivedi is amazing and I love her.

When I joined Global in fall of 2016, Supriya and I were a team. This is something she and I had wanted to do years. We were so excited by the opportunity. Getting up at Oh-God-Kill-Me o'clock every morning to go to work was only tolerable because we were doing it together.

Our time as co-hosts was much shorter than I expected it to be, and if I have any regret for the last few years, it's that. Spending all morning talking with a close friend that you adore and admire and respect is a luxury for most people. For me, it was my frickin' job!

One of the reasons I'm so content to move on now, to whatever comes next, is because it simply wasn't near as fun once we weren't doing it together anymore. I've missed her every day. But she's still kicking ass every morning from 0530 to 0900, and I couldn't be prouder of her.

There are others I should thank, and I will later, but I wanted to end right now on that note. Thank you and good luck, my friend.

And to all of you.

If you'd like to hear my 2+ hour deep dive with Matt Gurney, here's episode 299 of Toronto Mike'd.

Matt Gurney and me

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Albert Finney, Dead at 82

Albert FinneyAlbert Finney was 82. He was the Oscar-nominated actor best known for his roles in "Annie," "Erin Brockovich" and "Tom Jones." I'll always remember him as Ed Bloom in "Big Fish."

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 431: Caroline Szwed

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 431In this 431st episode, Mike chats with Sportsnet's Caroline Szwed about her soccer career, hosting Plays of the Month, Misplays of the Month and Aftermath, and Cash. This episode is exactly 1:53:56.

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Frank Robinson, Dead at 83

Frank RobinsonFrank Robinson was 83. He was the only player to win MVP in both leagues, earning National League honors with the Reds in 1961 and the American League award with the Baltimore Orioles in 1966. He made 14 All-Star game appearances in a Hall of Fame career, and currently ranks tenth on the all-time home run list with 586. In 1974, the Cleveland Indians made Robinson MLB’s first black manager.

frank

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Raptors Trade Jonas Valančiūnas, Delon Wright and CJ Miles to Grizzlies for Marc Gasol

The Toronto Raptors have acquired Marc Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies in exchange for Jonas Valančiūnas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round pick.

The three-time All-Star is averaging 15.7 points, 8.6 rebounds and 4.7 assists over 53 games this season in Memphis, his 11th in the NBA.

Fuck it... we've got Kawhi Leonard this season... let's go for it.

gasol

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 430: Stu Jeffries Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 430In this 430th episode, Mike catches up with Boom 97.3 morning show host Stu Jeffries before he kicks out the jams. This episode is exactly 1:39:25.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 429: Kayla-Marie Williams

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 429In this 429th episode, Mike chats with CP24 reporter and host Kayla-Marie Williams about playing professional volleyball in the Philippines, hosting CP24 Breakfast on weekends and working as a reporter at 299 Queen Street. This episode is exactly 1:37:48.

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Kayla Marie Williams and me

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 428: Mark Wigmore

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 428In this 428th episode, Mike chats with radio broadcaster Mark Wigmore about his years at Newstalk 1010, Proud FM, CBC and Jazz FM, and his new podcast, Art at the End of the World. This episode is exactly 1:51:46.

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Mark Wigmore and me

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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« January 2019

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